TYDD GOTE: Mother of soldier killed in Afghanistan organises walk for regiment fund
THE mother of a Royal Anglian soldier killed in Afghanistan has organised a 100-mile walk to further boost a regiment memorial fund. News of Christine Bonner s charity walk comes in the same week as the first anniversary of the death of her son Cpl Darren
THE mother of a Royal Anglian soldier killed in Afghanistan has organised a 100-mile walk to further boost a regiment memorial fund.
News of Christine Bonner's charity walk comes in the same week as the first anniversary of the death of her son Cpl Darren Bonner.
He was one of nine soldiers from the regiment's 1st Battalion to be killed in action in Helmand province. He suffered severe injuries after his troop carrier hit a mine on May 28 last year.
Mrs Bonner, from Tydd Gote, has teamed up with Jan Hawkins, from Beetley near Dereham, to organise the walk and boost the Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund.
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Mrs Hawkins also lost her son, Lance Corporal Alex Hawkins, during the battalion's deployment.
They will join up with the seven other mothers who lost sons to walk from Reading, where Royal Anglian Capt David Hicks is buried, to Duxford where the regiment has a museum. The walk - dubbed 100 Miles for Nine Smiles - will begin on July 7.
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Mrs Bonner said she hopes the walk will help raise £10,000 for the memorial fund. She said: "I want to keep Darren's memory alive and help his friends left behind. This is not just about Darren - there were 30 of them injured on that day alone and many of them are still suffering.
"Whatever people think of the war, these soldiers are out there fighting for us back home. They were scared to go out there but they knew they had a job to do. That kind of courage deserves recognition.
"All the boys stood out there side by side, shoulder to shoulder. This is all about helping them all, not just the memories of those who have fallen and are left behind."
Cpl Bonner was 31 years old and on his second tour of Afghanistan. He had also served in Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq. At the time of his death he was thinking of leaving the army and settling into civilian life.
The Royal Anglian Memorial Fund aims to honour those killed in the battlefields of Afghanistan by constructing a monument at Duxford and offer financial support for those wounded in the conflict. It originally had a target of £100,000 but has now raised about £305,000. It is backed by our sister publication, the Eastern Daily Press.
• To sponsor the mothers visit www.justgiving.com/christinebonner or send a cheque payable to CB1 R Anglian to Ambrajay, Hannath Road, Tydd Gote, Wisbech, PE13 5NA.